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Fundraising Campaign Sites Guide: 24 Benefits, Elements, & Tips

August 29, 2022
12 minutes

What gets your spirit soaring and your heart pumping? For us, it’d have to be a nonprofit fundraising campaign. We love the rush of working towards a goal, the adrenaline of coordinating marketing emails with social media posts, and the thrill of rallying supporters near and far to a good cause. But before you can launch a campaign, you need a kick-butt campaign site.

Campaign sites are different from your regular website. Your main site has a massive to-do list and many a target audience, but your campaign site? That little fellow’s doing some laser-focused heavy lifting. Luckily, Funraise is here to help you with that.

First, we’ll explore the wonderful world of campaign sites (also known as microsites), including types, benefits, tips, and more. Then, once you’re fully on Team Campaign Site, we’ll be giving you the opportunity to have your very own campaign site (and peer-to-peer functionality) 100% free! That’s right: in the spirit of Giving Tuesday, we’re counting down by giving away campaign sites to you amazing nonprofiteers. So, let’s get campaigning!

Campaign types

Let’s hit rewind for a minute and go back to basics. “What super-special nonprofit occasions merit their very own campaign site?” you want to know. We’re so glad you asked!

Capital campaign

When you have a big goal—like a new van, major renovations, or a solid-gold statue of your dog (just an idea!)—a capital campaign sets you up to collect major gifts in a set amount of time.

Advocacy or awareness campaign

If something big happens in your nonprofit niche, you want to get the word out and get your supporters shouting from the internet-tops (rooftops are good, too). If so, an awareness or advocacy campaign can spread the gospel and spark action.

Giving Tuesday campaign

Every year, on a very special day, nonprofits solicit gifts from as many supporters as possible to support their year-end fundraising efforts. Yep, Giving Tuesday is a campaign type unto itself.

Event campaign

Before a big fundraising event, an event campaign is the perfect way to get the who, what, when, where, why word out and get the donations flowing.

Peer-to-peer fundraising campaign

Gather your supporters close and give them each a fundraising campaign site. Then, set them free to fundraise for your cause. Each person can set their own goal and spread the word, deepening engagement and increasing your fundraising power.

Crowdfunding campaign

The third cousin once removed of a P2P campaign, crowdfunding also sources donations from your network, but this time you’re focused on getting as many small donations as possible, with a single goal and in a single place.

Monthly giving campaign

It’s no secret that we love recurring giving programs, and a monthly giving campaign could be your ticket to reliable revenue and organizational bliss.

Matching gift campaign

If a major donor offers to match all donations for a set period of time, you’ve got yourself a matching gift campaign. Challenge accepted!

Giving day campaign

Yes, Giving Tuesday is its own campaign type, but you can set up a giving day any day! To decrease the lift on your individual organization, consider teaming up with nonprofits in your area, like Long Beach did, or organizations in your nonprofit niche.

10 essential elements—a checklist for successful nonprofit fundraising campaign sites

Fundraising campaign sites for nonprofits come all sizes and colors, kinda like humans! And what works for one nonprofit may spell disappointment for another, but there are definitely some best practices and must-have ingredients to increase your chances of staggering success. Take a look at the checklist below and see how many boxes your site ticks!

1. A great donor experience

This is a must no matter what your fundraising strategy is! (Can you imagine making a bad donor experience a campaign cornerstone? Horrors!) Our top tip for a great donor experience? Less is more. Fewer clicks, reduced fields to fill, and definitely less searching for a donate button!

2. Customization

Few things add to a campaign site like custom colors, branding, and logos. Aside from the fact that it looks fan-freaking-tastic and super pro, customization has another, more serious use: security and trustworthiness. When your donor clicks an ad or social media post and they're taken to a completely different site... where they're supposed to enter sensitive information... and give away their money... that site better visually connect back to your nonprofit.

3. Shareability

You gotta get the word out there when you've got a fundraising campaign running. And to do that, you've gotta make spreading the good news easy and obvious. Use a peer-to-peer platform that offers social sharing buttons (like Funraise), and make sure they're set up properly so there are no obstacles.

4. Progress bars

What motivates donors to give? Seeing you make progress. It gets the juices flowing, it creates FOMO, and it cultivates the tiniest bit of healthy competition. Add a progress bar and keep donors on their toes!

5. P2P-ability

P2P-ability? We just made up the word. But the meaning is clear—infuse your campaign site with networking capabilities by enacting a peer-to-peer element to your fundraising campaign. And do it right from your (Funraise) campaign site. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. (We did not make that up.)

6. Mobile optimization

Did you know that 50% of your nonprofit website's visitors come through mobile? And the thing is... that number's not static. It will only get bigger as time goes on. Ergo, your fundraising campaign site (and your nonprofit's main website) needs to be mobile optimized.

7. Integrations

Once your donors give, the impact begins. But how do you use the donor and donation information?  With Funraise, your data goes directly to your connected CRM. Not only that, but Funraise integrates with your email program, social media, even Salesforce!

8. A way to contact your nonprofit

Even the best donor experiences have their hiccups. Sometimes donors have questions or supporters want more information. Give your website visitors a way to easily send you a message, get an answer, or give you updates. Try a chatbot!

9. (Limited) options

Customization doesn't just apply to your org, it also applies to donors. Give your donors the chance to support you in the way and at the level that's comfortable for them. Maybe they want to become a recurring donor! Or maybe their employer does a company donation match. They're interested in covering your fees or directing their donation to a specific program. Give them the power to be your champion.

10. Follow up

No nonprofit's fundraising campaign website is complete without a follow up plan. Email is usually the best way to go, although over text or through an app will work for different audiences. No matter how you do it, don't forget the follow up.

8 top tips for your campaign site

While there’s many a campaign type to choose from, the best campaign sites have a few things in common. Here are some tried-and-true, best-practice tips to build the campaign site of your dreams.

1. Keep your branding consistent

Your campaign microsite is independent and mighty, but it’s still part of the bigger organizational picture. Consistent branding builds trust and ensures donors connect your campaign to your nonprofit. That means you want to stick with your well-known and well-loved colors and fonts.

2. But make your site custom

While you want your campaign site to be on-brand, you also want it to pop, shine, sparkle, and buzz. After all, the whole point is that this is a unique initiative—so your microsite should reflect that. Consider a catchy name, original logo, or snazzy background video to make your site stand out.

3. Make the goal crystal clear

No one should stumble on your campaign site and think, “What a lovely page! Why did they make it?” A campaign is all about meeting a single goal, and the only way you’ll reach that goal is with a can’t-miss call to action. Put that mission front and center, and make that donate button or event RSVP form big and bright.

4. Show progress

Fundraising is all about impact: you want to show your supporters what you’ve done—and what you will do—with their support. When you’re urging supporters to take action in a set amount of time, you need to give them a reason to act ASAP. Use your site to show that you’re making strides toward your goal with a live progress meter or donation feed. Every donation moves the needle—and builds donor engagement.

5. Promote the heck out of it

Some folks use email, some folks use text messages, and some prefer paper airplanes. That means you need to practice your origami skills, because you need to advertise your campaign across all channels to ensure everyone everywhere knows about it. Otherwise, it’s just taking up valuable internet real estate that could be used for cat memes.

6. Make it accessible

If you want to get everyone involved, you need to consider all the possibilities and make it as easy as possible to get involved with your campaign. Will your visitors be on a laptop, tablet, or phone? Make it mobile-friendly! Will they have a payment preference? Ensure credit card, debit card, PayPal, Stripe, and cookie dough are all on the table.

7. Make it shareable

Want your supporters to spread the word about your campaign? You’ll need links to various social network and clear, concise content snippets.

8. Check that data

Campaign sites can yield lots of juicy data to help inform (you guessed it) future campaigns. You want to know what worked and what didn’t, so that each campaign is better than the last. Consider site visits, marketing outreach click-through rates, and donations.

Get the good times rolling with Funraise’s campaign site builder

5 benefits of nonprofit campaign sites

Friend, you are well on your way to building a beautiful, memorable, effective, and efficient campaign site. But before you embark on that life-changing journey, it’s important to consider why you’re putting in all this effort. Here are some of the benefits of launching a nonprofit campaign and building a campaign site.

1. Focus in

Your nonprofit organization is darn inspirational, if we do say so ourselves. But chances are your website has a lot going on, from staff bios to vision statements to annual reports to success stories. With a campaign site, you can focus site visitors on a single goal, issue, or event with nary another distraction in sight.

2. Get valuable data

With a microsite, you can collect highly focused data that will help inform future campaign strategies. For example, if it’s a crowdfunding campaign site, you can track conversions, average amount donated, bounce rate, and more. One clean site = fewer variables to muddy those super-valuable metrics.

3. Make it speedy

A full website is a delicate beast, and every update and change needs to be carefully crafted, reviewed by multiple stakeholders, and then released into the world. But you can get a campaign site up and running fast. Development is a breeze (especially with Funraise!) and placement goes quickly, so you can launch that seasonal campaign ASAP.

4. Share the deets

For most things internet-related, short and succinct is the name of the game. We love short sentences, short paragraphs, and lots of white space. But sometimes, you just want to dive into the details—to share every number and success and name. A campaign site is the perfect place to do that because there’s only one area of focus, and you want your supporters to understand the issue inside and out.

5. Keep your homepage clean

As we mentioned, a crowded website does no one any favors—you want a clean design, relevant content, and navigation that gets users up to speed and directs them to the donate button. Campaign sites ensure you’re not cluttering up your main site with too many links and ideas.

Just like a political campaign can mean the difference between victory and defeat, a nonprofit campaign site can be the difference between hitting your fundraising goal or missing the mark. With a campaign site, you can highlight the issues and actions that matter most, boosting engagement and building trust. And if you’re lucky, you’ll be the recipient of a 100% free, 100% awesome campaign site from Funraise—because in Funraise world, 200% is a reality!

Nonprofit fundraising campaign sites: Key takeaways

  • A campaign site or microsite allows you to focus your supporters on a single issue and/or action in one accessible, beautiful place.
  • On your campaign site, you can share information, accept donations, sell tickets, sign up peer-to-peer fundraisers, and more.
  • There are many types of nonprofit campaigns. Some of the most popular ones include peer-to-peer campaigns, capital campaigns, and year-end campaigns.
  • Encouraging your supporters to create their own peer-to-peer fundraising pages is a great way to boost engagement and fundraising revenue.
  • In the lead-up to Giving Tuesday, Funraise is giving away campaign sites—so let’s get this party started!
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